Longtime MN Soybean employee receives national award at biodiesel conference
Mike Youngerberg, who has spent more than 30 years working on behalf of Minnesota soybean farmers, most of it on biodiesel, was recognized by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) for his years of leadership in advancing the Minnesota biodiesel market.
Youngerberg, who serves as the director of product development and commercialization, was honored with the “Eye on Biodiesel” Impact Award at the National Biodiesel Conference Jan. 23 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Texas.
“I am honored and humbled by this award,” Youngerberg said. “I don’t believe you can measure the success of biodiesel in Minnesota by one individual. The tireless efforts of our team of farmer leaders, lobbyists and staff have helped to ensure the adoption and growth of biodiesel in Minnesota. I am thankful I’ve been along for the journey.”
Since 1986, Youngerberg has worked to advance soybean industry priorities as a member of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association staff. He has served in a critical role in one of the most proactive biodiesel states in the country.
In 2002, Minnesota passed landmark legislation requiring that diesel fuel sold in the state contain at least two percent biodiesel. The law was implemented on Sept. 29, 2005, becoming the first state to require biodiesel blends. The program increased to B5 in May 2009, to B10 for the summer months in July 2014, and is scheduled to move to B20 on May 1.
“Minnesota’s progressive biodiesel law has helped to grow an important industry for farmers and Minnesotans alike,” said Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka. “Mike has been an important part of that process. Though biodiesel’s success is rooted in a team of farmers, lobbyists and staff, Mike has been a consistent leader along the road to B20.”
NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen said Youngerberg’s dedication to the industry is an integral piece of the biodiesel story.
“Mike Youngerberg has been, and continues to be, a true advocate for the soybean industry and a passionate champion for biodiesel,” Rehagen said. “Our industry would not be where it is today without Mike’s leadership. Minnesota is one of the most proactive biodiesel states in the country and serves as an example for biodiesel advocates everywhere.”
About the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council
The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) is the elected board of soybean producers from Minnesota who direct investments of the state’s checkoff dollars in programs designed to increase profitability to Minnesota soybean farmers.
About the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association
MSGA is a non-profit, farmer-controlled membership organization established in 1962. Its goal is to ensure profitable soybean farming by influencing favorable ag legislation, monitoring government policies and supporting research and market development activities.